Tag Archives: Archadeck of Central GA feature series “just how much is this going to be”

Buyer Beware: Archadeck of Central GA warns homeowners to be wary of the contractor who gives you a quote on the spot, and here is why…

Porch - Westchester - Macon GA
Part of choosing the right builder for your outdoor space is knowing the builder has your best interests in mind.

You have probably often heard the phrases “the early bird gets the worm”, or “Johnny on the spot”  in regard to being eager and motivated and getting things accomplished. While being the early bird is a plus in many aspects, being too eager and not factoring in important details can mean that being first in line can pan out last.  As an outdoor living space builder I get asked all the time during the first meeting to guess a ballpark figure of how much a project will cost. One of the worst things I can do is throw out a number. Here’s why.

Archadeck of Central Georgia does all of our pricing through a computer and innovative software that dictates price through pricing models. These pricing models take into account the width, depth, height off the ground, shape and various material needs in each project we do. It is a very sophisticated, yet accurate process, and I am constantly amazed at how bad my guesses are once I have compared them with the computer results. I have been designing and building outdoor structures since 1999, and even with my background and experience I guess too high on one out of three quotes, too low on one out of three and in the ballpark ( but not a home run), with one in three! With this in mind, the worst thing I can do is guess at a price or set a homeowner’s expectation on something I cannot deliver.

In our last story, we discussed how a design can dictate the price. The real question that needs to be addressed prior to throwing out any numbers is how much you want to spend on a project. Archadeck of Central GA ask three important  questions prior to giving any quote to ensure the customer gets the space they want at the price they can afford.

Before you go to any car lot, you know if you are looking for a Chevy or a Lexus. Before you go shop for homes, you know whether you are looking for houses priced at $250,000 or 500,000 just to name a couple examples. You don’t expect the Lexus dealer to give you a Chevy but you do need to know the range of investment and the level of quality you are seeking.

The three questions that any quality, experienced builder should ask their customer are:

#1) What do you want the project to look like?

#2) What function do you want to project to deliver?

#3) What is your economic investment? This ensures we can stay within the price range of what the homeowner is looking for.

North Macon GA Cypress covered porches
Deciding which primary aesthetics and function(s) you want in your intended outdoor space is just as important as knowing your budget.

In retrospect, if I am not able to get a homeowner to provide me with the answers to these three crucial questions, I typically do not get the work. It is however, not uncommon that there has to be some give and take on at least one of these areas. Archadeck of Central GA has built projects that are $4,000 and also projects in excess of $70,000, so we expect some grey areas.  The purpose of getting a customer to answer these questions is important because it gets clients to think about their situation which helps them determine how much money they are willing to budget for a their project because that is the question I cannot answer for them.

Archadeck of Central GA knows that the success of your project relies on the customer and builder working together towards a common goal.
Archadeck of Central GA knows that the success of your project relies on the customer and builder working together towards a common goal.

When you are comparing prices from one project to the next, unless you have written specifications and a drawing, or rendering, as well as methodology of the intended construction, then it is hard to only compare price. In the commercial world of building and design, architects design to certain specifications. These specifications are sent out to those bidding on the jobs and each contractor involved has to compile and deliver a quote based on the same specifications. This method ensures the purchaser knows that they comparing apples to apples and can make a well-informed decision based on the price supplied by those quoting the project. In residential outdoor design, the homeowner rarely if ever hires an architect. Therefore the customer and builder must work together towards a common goal and the builder must have ways to articulate exactly what their project includes.

Before you decide to go with the contractor who is the quickest to quote your project,take heed and proceed with caution because the ultimate success and happiness of your outdoor living space project is all about communication and details- something the “Johnny on the spot” builder is not prepared to deliver.

Remember that no two outdoor living spaces are created equal. Having an outdoor structure specialist designing your space can actually help keep the prices lower enabling a more suitable design for your individual needs. If you are ready to learn more about how we can enhance your outdoor living experience and stay within your budget, contact Archadeck of Central GA today(478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GAYou can see more examples of our versatile, high quality outdoor living spaces by visiting our decks photo gallery and our porches photo gallery located on our website.

 

 

Archadeck of Central GA discusses the complexity of the answer to the million dollar question of “just tell me how much it is going to be” when it comes to outdoor space designs

Deck project in St. Croix Macon GA
Archadeck of Central GA explores the complexity of throwing out a “ballpark” figure before we have carefully considered all the elements that go into a custom outdoor space design

One of the most common questions I get from homeowners is “how much will it be?” This usually occurs during the first few minutes of my initial consultation with a prospective client and I have even been asked the same type of question over the phone when setting up the appointment for the initial consultation. I’m asked questions like “what is the square foot price” or “can I have just a ballpark figure?” I have to say, it still surprises me that so many homeowners assume coming up with an accurate quote for their anticipated project is as cut and dry as determining a price before we have even had a chance to factor in many important elements. After all, you would never dream of going to see a real estate agent and telling them you want a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home without first discussing your budget or the amenities you want the home to include, i.e.: neighborhood, one story, two-story, brick, or siding (just for starters). Asking what the price is before taking all details into consideration is nothing short of driving to the car lot and asking how much the car you have in mind costs per pound!

Proposed future design for Macon GA homeowners
As part of our design process, customers will get a 3D rendering of their intended outdoor space. This rendering helps customers better visualize how their space will look and function before construction even begins.

Archadeck of Central GA understands most homeowners want some idea of what they are getting into before getting too involved with the process, which is a reasonable request. The main thing to remember is, in most cases, the bottom line number for your quote usually comes in lower once we have input all the relevant information. There are many factors that come into play when putting together an accurate quote for a custom outdoor living space including materials, elevation, and the size of your space just to name a few.

Remodeling magazine puts out a cost/value report every year which covers a number of different remodeling projects. The report covers projects ranging from re-roofing your home to updating your kitchen and everything in between. The reports are specific to major metro areas. The Atlanta report is relevant to the Central GA region.  The report describes a typical 16  x 20 deck addition with standard construction of a simple style with a built-in bench and planter and assuming 3 steps to grade. The 2017 report indicates an average job of this status in Atlanta, GA would cost $10,408.

The same report also contains pricing based on composite (low-maintenance) decking options and a more upscale deck addition with all the bells and whistles. While you might expect that an experienced reputable custom builder might cost more, in both cases our price would likely beat the ones specified.

Ipe deck in Fortsyth GA with wooden rail and metal pickets with basket motif and Ipe cap
It is important to take all the factors of your project into consideration before throwing out a number, these factors include materials, elevation and size.

The design itself is what controls the price point. If you dramatically change the size of your intended space, that will influence the cost. However, project changes don’t always cause an increased price. Dimensional changes like making up some of the size in length rather than width can actually drive the price down instead of up. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of consulting with a professional outdoor structure builder. Here at Archadeck of Central GA we understand all the construction, design and material costs involved in a project. Taking advantage of our free design consultation will give you, and us,  a better grasp of the space that meets your needs and wants. It is always better to have a custom design that takes your functional needs, aesthetic needs and budget into account rather than opting for a “cookie cutter” outdoor design that could actually end up costing you more.

Remember that no two outdoor living spaces are created equal. Having an outdoor structure specialist designing your space can actually help keep the prices lower enabling a more suitable design for your individual needs. If you are ready to learn more about how we can enhance your outdoor living experience and stay within your budget, contact Archadeck of Central GA today (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GAYou can see more examples of our versatile, high quality outdoor living spaces by visiting our decks photo gallery and our porches photo gallery located on our website.